Monday, November 19, 2012

Mug Book Monday: George Rice WESTABY, I (1822 - 1894)

"Mug books" are collections of biographical sketches usually found within county histories of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, particularly in the United States. On Mondays, I'm highlighting ancestors or relatives who were featured in these mug books.

"The Salem M. E. Church.--This church, located on a picturesque rural spot at the junction of the roads leading from Thompson's Mills to Schapsville, and from Apple River to Elizabeth, on section 23, was erected in 1869. It was the first built in the township, Christopher Columbus Thompson and William Witham being the active men to whose zeal, exertions and influence the Methodists are indebted for  its erection, George Westaby donating the land (one acres) on which it stands. It is a commodious frame building, 23 by 44 feet; cost $1,600, and is clear of debt. It was dedicated by Rev. S. A. W. Jewett. Rev. Archibald Smith, of the Rock River Conference was the first pastor. He died in 1869, and was succeeded by Rev. F. R. Mastin, Messrs. Roberts, Brotherton and Kennedy, in the order as mention. W. J. Liberto at present holds service fortnightly, the pulpit on alternate Sundays being filled by Mr. William Witham and other local preachers. The congregation numbers forty members, and has a large attendance at Sunday services. The people of all denomination (Catholic included), and many of no religious belief, subscribed towards its erection. Henry Evans, William Witham, Ichabod Sampson and George Westaby were the first trustees. The present ones are William Sincox, William Witham, Charles Westaby, John Bastian and William Chapman."

"Westaby C. farm; Sec. 25; P. O. Houghton.
"WESTABY GEORGE, Farmer; Sec. 23; P. O. Houghton; son of Thomas and Mary Westaby, of Barron [sic - Barrow-upon-Humber], Lincolnshire, Eng., where he was born Nov. 19, 1822; was married April 12, 1850, to Miss Ann, daughter of Wm. and Maria Wilson, of Alton LeMoor [sic - Holton le Moor], Lincolnshire, and emigrated to this Co. same year; she was born Oct. 22, 1822; they have four children: Stephen, born June 12, 1852; Tom, March 12, 1855; Wilson, July 17, 1857, and George Rice, March 29, 1863; they lost by death two daughters and one son; they are raising a grand-nephew of Mrs. Westaby, Thomas Wilson, born in Eng. Aug. 28, 1864, whom she brought to this country on her return from a visit to her native home and relations; Mr. W. owns 584 acres valued at $11,680; is Road Commissioner; has been Overseer of Highways; School Director four terms; Assessor and Collector several years; Republican in politics; Independent in Religion; donated site (one acre), for the Salem M.E. Church, and was a member of the Building Committee.
"Westaby S. farm; Sec. 25; P. O. Houghton.
"Westaby W. farm; Sec. 25; P. O. Houghton."


George Rice WESTABY, I was my children's paternal 4th-great-grandfather. There is mention of his parents, Thomas WESTABY and Mary SPAULDING, wife, Ann WILSON, and their son, George Rice, Jr. (who went by "Rice"), and parents-in-law William WILSON and Maria [--?--], all of whom are also direct ancestors of my children.

"Independent in Religion" doesn't mean non-denominational or non-religious. In older English census records, the Independents were listed with the Congregationalists. They have similar roots as the Separatists (known in America as the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony), and the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Charles WESTABY, mentioned in the paragraph about the Salem Methodist-Espicopal Church, as well as the first entry of Westabys ("C. Westaby") in the biographical listings for Thompson Township, was George's brother, who emigrated with him in 1850. The "S. Westaby" and "W. Westaby" listed after George were likely his nephews, either Spencer or Spaulding, and William, as they are farming in the same section as Charles. However, it is possible they could instead have been his sons, Stephen and Wilson.

This information was taken from The History of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, containing A History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, Etc.: A Biographical Directory of Its Citizens, War Record of Its Volunteers in the Late Rebellion, General and Local Statistics, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men, History of the Northwest, History of Illinois, Map of Jo Daviess County, Constitution of the United States, Miscellaneous Matter, Etc., published in Chicago by H. F. Kett & Co., 1878. The paragraph regarding the Salem M.E. Church is found on pages 610 and 611, whereas the biographical sketches are found on pages 794 and 795. This county history, along with many others, can be found at the Internet Archive and Google Books.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Scanfest Postponed Until After the Holidays

Just a heads up on the state of Scanfest: I had originally considered hosting Scanfest on Sunday, November 18th, but I will not be available to do that tomorrow. Next weekend is Thanksgiving, and my plans are still up in the air, with the weather determining if I'll spend the holiday in the area or on the other side of the state. My Christmas plans are also indeterminate at this time, so I've decided to wait until January to host the next event, rather than make vacillating Scanfest dates.

In the meantime, as you spend time with your relatives over the holidays, be sure to ask if they have any old family photos you can borrow to scan...or if you have a portable scanner, such as the Flip-Pal, bring it along with you to scan on the spot. If you don't have a portable scanner, and are unable to borrow the photos, bring along a quality digital camera and take high-resolution photographs of the original images.

Enjoy your family time. I hope to see you on January 27th for our next Scanfest!